Newcastle Brown targets the news

17 October 2014

NEW YORK: Newcastle Brown Ale, the beer brand owned by Heineken, ranks being "in the news" among its top targets, as this strategy constitutes an effective and efficient way to drive views of its digital content.

Quinn Kilbury, brand director for the imported beer in the US, discussed this subject while speaking at Advertising Week 2014 in New York.

And he reported that when targets are set for the product's content marketing, impressions are given far greater weight than securing a certain number of views.

"We want to be in the news. And from the news come the views," he said. (For more, including details of how the brand has moved almost exclusively to digital, read Warc's exclusive report: How Newcastle Brown Ale brewed up a digital success story.)

Newcastle Brown Ale has proved adept at achieving this goal, as exemplified by an attention-grabbing initiative, featuring actress Anna Kendrick and former NFL star Keyshawn Johnson, around this year's Super Bowl.

Its tongue-in-cheek campaign aimed to "hijack" the conversation by discussing the over-the-top Super Bowl spot Newcastle Brown Ale would have made if it had the money – lampooning many adland clichés along the way.

"We don't want to spend a ton, and if you spend a little bit on the right celebrity who fits the brand tone and fits the brand voice, you're much more likely to get the earned impressions you're looking for."

In all, the program yielded more than 600 organic media placements and generated in advance of one billion impressions.

Further recent efforts have included offering a $1 cheque to 50,000 people signing up to follow Newcastle Brown Ale on Twitter, and proposing America may have turned out better if Britain won the Revolutionary War as part of the "Independence Eve" campaign.

"You have to do something that people want to see. You have to do something that's entertaining, that doesn't feel like a commercial. That's the choice people have to make," said Kilbury.

"There is a lot of good advertising out there, but there are also a lot of stereotypes that we like to make fun of and have fun with.

"And so that is basically what our campaign comes down to: is how can we find the darker side of advertising, and have a little fun with that?"

Data sourced from Warc